Cruel And Unusual Punishment
Angel Raich is living a pretty sad life. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor that keeps her in constant pain, and the only medicine that helps alleviate that pain is illegal. She’s a medical marijuana user.
Two years ago, she was involved in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that she and persons like her could be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws despite the fact that medicinal use of marijuana was legal in California, her home state.
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — A California woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive is not immune from federal prosecution on drug charges, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The case was brought by Angel Raich, an Oakland mother of two who suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other ailments. On her doctor’s advice, she eats or smokes marijuana every couple of hours to ease her pain and bolster a nonexistent appetite as conventional drugs did not work.
The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.
Because of that ruling, the issue before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was narrowed to the so-called right to life theory: that marijuana should be allowed if it is the only viable option to keep a patient alive.
Raich, 41, began sobbing when she was told of the decision and said she would continue using the drug.
“I’m sure not going to let them kill me,” she said. “Oh my God.”
And, so, after a two year trek through the legal system we are left with this: a woman dying from a brain tumor could conceivably go to a Federal Prison for smoking pot. If there is a stupider, more cruel, example of the damage the War On (Some) Drugs does to real people, I’d like to see it.